If I had a dollar for every time someone contacted me to sell their stuff- I would be rich by now. The truth is that when folks contact me to sell their stuff-compensating me or my sister for our efforts has never occured to them.
There are consignment stores to sell second hand furniture but guess what? They don’t work for free either. Be prepared to lose 40-60% of the selling price to the consignment store.
When social media connections email me with photos of something they want to sell at their price, I suggest several selling outlets and remove myself entirely. Why? Experience & Liability. Listing fees & more.
Finding a selling outlet that’s effective isn’t cheap or easy. Yesterday, a prominent Fort Worth woman who “knows your husband and that you help people” reached out through my sister site We Barter Dream Events- The Pawning Planners. What she needed was for someone or a team to help clean her house & get rid of unwanted items for a quick home sale. I’m going to be blunt here- we don’t commit ourselves to cleaning up your mess or making you money just because you asked us to or just because we are good at what we do. Sure, we can help you but it’s not free. We don’t cart off junk but know several businesses that do. We also don’t clean houses but can refer you to connections that do. Neither of these services is offered at no cost though. Our connections like us are not volunteers.
Trying to convince these “all about me” types of inquiries that while helping others, we are helping ourselves isn’t nearly as easy as someone with common sense might assume.
My reasons for not getting involved stem from a history of trying to help these folks out that cost me money? How? You’re gonna love this! A few years ago, I decided to help someone out by selling their Brown & Jordan sofa set. I was well aware of the market because I had sold millions of dollars of patio furniture and was the top DFW producer of high end furniture for years. Let me start by saying this “friend” didn’t buy the furniture from me quite the contrary, my coworker got the sale and more importantly, the commission! I go to their home and pick up the furniture with filthy cushions and take them home to go through the process of cleaning them and sending one of the torn cushions to my upholsterer. Upon finishing the hours of labor and expense of repair, I take photos and list the set on my Ebay page for Texas Twins Treasures. A few days later, a buyer purchases the item and requests delivery. Meanwhile, the person who asked me to sell it continues to ask if I’ve sold it. I wind up renting a box truck for $175 and paying for gas to drive from Lakeside to Coppel, Texas. I successfully sell the item after all of this work for $1675.00 but after deducting the Ebay listing fees & final value fee of $167, I also “get stuck” with the truck rental and gasoline along with the four hours cleaning the set and cost to repair a cushion of $46. When I advise this “friend” of my expenses to sell the item, I’m told “I asked you to sell it for me. I didn’t tell you to rent a truck or repair the cushion. I told you to clean it up and sell it.” The end result? I spent over $200 and six hours of cleaning the set to sell someone else’s item and worked my ass off to do it. This “lesson learned” was a real eye opener for me. I bent over backwards to make someone else money and “no good deed goes unpunished.”
A few weeks later, this same “friend” asked me about selling recliners for them. I politely declined and suggested Craigslist or eBay. For those wondering about the liability of selling an item for someone else, I’m going to enlighten you. If you sell something for someone and are unaware of any damage- the item can get you in hot water with eBay AND PayPal as well as getting you a neutral or negative feedback on your account. IE: If you are selling something for someone else, be advised that you will be responsible as the seller of there is a problem with whatever you’ve sold as a favor. An unknown problem can and will cost YOU money or your stellar reputation on eBay. There is a lot of risk but NO REWARD if you are wondering what I mean.
After the Brown & Jordan fiasco, I knew to never get involved cleaning or repairing something for someone else to make them money but two more things would “pop up” to gut punch me.
My dad had a beautiful Chanel dress that his deceased wife had owned and asked me to sell it. She had only worn it once and I knew the market value. I spent thirty minutes getting good photos and listed it on my eBay site. It sold quickly and I went to the expense of packaging and mailing it along with the necessary eBay and PayPal fees. I sent the money via PayPal to my dad and you can imagine my horror when the buyer filed a claim that the item wasn’t delivered. I never ship anything that isn’t priority now because that dress cost ME $340 out of my eBay/PayPal account not my dad because I had already gave him the money and got stuck “holding the bag.”
A few weeks later, my neighbor asked me to list an expensive ski jacket her husband had bought but wasnt in love with. I took the photos and uploaded to my account. For those unaware, listing an item requires a lot of information and photos uploaded. IE: it’s a time consuming process. A few days later, the item sold and I paid my neighbor less the fees and shipping (yes, I had learned from the dress to ship priority and to deduct my expenses up front). A week later, the coat was returned. The problem? It didn’t fit. I had to refund the full cost and suck up the relisting fees while praying it would sell again. Luckily, it did.
There are reasons that I’m not interested in favors for other people that cost me money. Selling your items is time consuming and risky for me. I’m happy to tell you how to do it yourself but please don’t ask me to do all of the work, take all of the risk and expect me to give you all of the rewards. I’m a businesswoman not your employee.
Texas Twins Treasures has a stellar reputation on eBay. Why? I bend over backwards to make buyers happy even when it costs me money to do it. I can’t tell you how many times someone has contacted me after buying something to tell me “the color is different than the photos. Can I get a discount?” Here’s one every eBay seller hates to hear “your shipping is too high-I live on the UK and I want free expedited shipping.” If you have offers available on your item, set decline limits or everyone will offer you ridiculous amounts and you will spend far too much time responding to them. We ship daily priority but it isn’t free to us and it won’t be free to you either. International shipping is $24 & up.
Texas Twins Treasures is key to making The Pawning Planners work. Why? We sell refurbished items and recover expenses for bartered events here. Sponsored families are funded through the revenue generated on this site. If we spent all of our time selling stuff for other people that would never benefit our clients or businesses, we would be broke by now.
Ironically, I’ve had a few requests to reupholster someone else’s furniture because “they heard I enjoy stripping, staining & reupholstering furniture.” I don’t “enjoy” hard work. I do enjoy hard work that pays off with a return on my investment. The reason that I go to the expense and time in involved to successfully flip items is based entirely on making a profit for me and my businesses-not you or your friends who think I love spending my time and money on upholstery to benefit you by reupholstering your furniture.
Profits from Pawning Planners Apparel fund families with no money or trade. The reason that these items sell quickly is because they feature my twin sisters saucy and truthful observations of others. Customized shirt sales are up 300% and you can find your favorite quote by reading this blog-Cindy Daniel Has Something To Say About Everything! From Moochers to Morons to being busy to being offended to being taken advantage of and everything in between, my gingertwins observations might be hillbilly oriented but they are accurate and honest which is why they are translated in numerous languages worldwide. #Cindyism Quotes can fit nearly any and all situations with a hint of #cynicism.
Please don’t expect me or my sister to bend over backward accommodating your needs because “we help people.” The people we help aren’t rich and have no one else to help them.
We refer to these Moochers with a few of my sisters classic and more importantly, on point #cindyisms-“Common sense is like breath spray-the people that need it the most won’t use it but get up in your face anyway.” Another #cindyism observation that would do well in these types of instances would be “Don’t invite me to dinner while expecting me to buy the groceries and cook!” My favorite is “some folks ain’t worth the salt it would take to jerky EM!”
Last year, I went to an estate liquidation request to appraise the home. The smell of cat urine was so strong I nearly threw up. The “client” wanted everything in the house (except a 1920’s organ) removed so he could sell the house. The only item of value was the organ that he had conveniently “decided to keep.” The end result? I wished him good luck and bid him farewell. That Hoarder Home was full of junk and trash along at least 10-20 feral cats. No one would have taken that dirty job for less than 5k but he wasnt offering money-he was offering a houseful of trash in exchange for an empty home & easy money. “We cant make gravy outta water.” If there isn’t anything in it for us, we walk away from a job of breaking our backs to benefit them.
I often tell my readers that “I can’t make this shit up because I can’t.” We don’t take on every job just because we are asked to. In fact, I turn down requests all of the time when they are an “all for me and forget you” endeavor.
Helping people doesn’t mean we enjoy being taken advantage of and never has. “Just because I open the front door doesn’t mean I won’t or can’t show you to the exit when you have an outrageous request.”
We have Bridezilla & Guestzilla Clauses listed for sound reasons, we’ve met a few and decided with caring hearts to muddle through the trenches and crawl over glass to make them happy with one request after another while putting ourselves through Hell. Too much is never enough with a demanding diva. No matter what you do, these egomaniacs will always ask for something else and need to learn that “just because you bought a ticket to the movie doesn’t make you the STAR of the SHOW.”
Muddling through a bad experience with divas or outlaws (the opposite of inlaws) was a learning curve and we don’t do that anymore. Sadly, after bending over backwards to help those folks, we got stiffed for services rendered because we trusted them to pay us. That’s right. My entire team took one belt after the other for far too many Bridezillas who think the world owes them a living. The world doesn’t and we don’t either.
We only work for free if you are low income and have nothing to trade or you’re military, fire, police or first responders. Why? We are from a military family and many of our relatives are either military or first responders. Volunteers or military members are both tight on cash. In these situations we will go above and beyond because their situation warrants any and all help we can give them.
Often, revenue from paying clients booking through Texas Twins Events funds the expenses involved to refurbish or reupholster bartered items. IE: The Pawning Planners take trades. Texas Twins Events clients pay for services. Texas Twins Treasures recovers event services by selling items taken in trade with refurbishing expenses paid through Texas Twins Events bookings. Sponsored events are also funded through Texas Twins Treasures. All THREE businesses work with each other to give over 700 families a Dream Event the past nearly 7 years.
I read “I heard you help people” everyday on emails and texts. We do but the people we help aren’t someone wanting to make extra money. The people we help come to us for a Life Event that they could never afford on their own.
Telling me “you’re great at selling things-I need you to sell this for me” isn’t benefitting me, my family or our clients. But, I hear it everyday.
Back to the prominent woman who could easily hire someone to cart off unwanted items and help to wash her windows and clean her home so she can sell it. I advised her of several businesses who could help her. We do not clean houses or cart off items no one is going to buy. Why? Because we are busy helping clients from Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners or refurbishing, reupholstering & selling items at Texas Twins Treasures.
Simply because you “heard” we help people doesn’t mean we are going to help you because you don’t want to hire people or go to the expense or take the time to sell items yourself, especially when you could easily hire someone since you are rich and donate millions to your church.” I’m going to suggest that you contact your church and ask them to help you since they obviously are benefitting from your generosity. We aren’t volunteers and we don’t benefit from your charitable contributions to others. It’s wonderful you help your church and missionaries but we fund our own charitable efforts. The funding we use to help others comes from Texas Twins Treasures & Texas Twins Events NOT well funded churches.
We don’t have sponsors or benefit from your numerous charitable entities. We fund ourselves through hard work, perseverance and drive. Telling me about all of the people you help does nothing to benefit the people we help.
Although your way of explaining the many people you help as a “reason” of wanting us to work for free to benefit you or your church is a new one for me, your explanation is far more one sided than I could ever explain to you in terms that you would understand. It’s “Not My Luggage-Not My Trip.”
We help families and are dedicated to changing the wedding and events industry one barter at a time and are far too busy to fix problems for folks who want to #cindyism “hang their laundry on our clothes line” or “be like a blister by showing up when all of the work is done.” We are far too busy to waste our time doing your dirty work for no reward….
Wendy M Wortham